Fresno Unified distributing tablets, laptops to its students

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno Unified continues to help families amid COVID-19.

The school district handed out electronic devices on Wednesday to help students while they continue their education from home.

Fresno Unified has begun distributing tablets and laptops to all of its 74,000 students district-wide to help with virtual schooling.

At Addams Elementary, principal Angelica Espinoza was on hand on
Wednesday to answer questions and talk with families still adjusting to distant learning.

"We want all our families, all of our students to have access to the distant learning provided by the district. And access to their teachers so they can have virtual classroom time with them. And really just connecting with our community to make sure they're ok, they're healthy, they're safe, and they're learning," says Espinoza.

The devices are age-appropriate - students up to 3rd grade receive a tablet while 4th graders and up take home laptops.

For those families without internet access - the district is working to accommodate them.

"We've provided quite a bit of resources to our families about the programs that are no cost, WiFi that are available through the providers. We also started a pilot this year, we've provided just under a thousand hotspots to our high school students," says director of technology Tami Lundberg.

Lisa Rosales is a mother of four and says the electronic devices are coming at just the right time as she struggles to manage multiple grade levels at home with limited resources.

"I know it's hard at the beginning but with the laptops and tablets that the kids are getting, I think it'll be good. Even though they're not coming to school they're still getting their education," she says.

The state will make $30 million available to help school districts ensure that families have internet access and computing devices for distance learning.

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